If music teaches us anything, it’s that there is room for everyone. From country crooners to badass rappers to a cappella groups with more vocal talent in their pinkies than most of us have in our whole bodies, there is room on the radio dial for everyone.
But sometimes, you’ve just gotta admit that some singers are better than the rest.
And no matter the setting, Pentatonix is just about the best of the best.
In a recent episode of the TBS series, “Drop the Mic,” Pentatonix went up against ’90s vocal group Bell Biv Devoe in an epic rap battle that had them sparring back and forth, with some comments certainly more biting than the rest. “Get the f**k out,” the R&B trio told Pentatonix during the battle, while also referring to their 15 minutes of fame and how they have “10 million likes compared to 50 million sold.”
Of course, Pentatonix came right back with some biting comments of their own, referring to the fact that they have three Grammys. And while the a cappella group ended the rap battle with a little showcase of their true singing talents, the battle ultimately went to Bell Biv Devoe.
Still, there is no doubt that Pentatonix are winners in the hearts of countless music fans, who just can’t seem to get enough of members Kevin Olusola, Scott Hoying, Mitch Grassi, Kirstin Maldonado and new addition Matt Sallee. The group is coming off a crazy December that not only included the release of a deluxe version of their holiday album, but also the success of their NBC holiday special, “A Very Pentatonix Christmas.”
“Scott, Mitch and Kirstie grew up together in Texas and did choir and musical theater in high school,” said Kevin during a recent interview with the Boston Globe, where he reflected on how the group first got together. “Then Scott went to USC [University of Southern California]. When he found out about [TV show] ‘The Sing Off,’ he asked his two best friends to try out with him. They found me on the internet. I was a senior at Yale at the time. I was pre-med, studying East Asian Studies. They saw a clip of me [“celloboxing,” or beatboxing over cello] and reached out. I said ‘no’ in the beginning. But [then] I thought, I’ll give it a shot— if anything, I’ll meet new, cool people.”
He also discussed how the group ultimately picks the music they sing. “Typically, we come together [and] pitch songs,” he said. “If we’re feeling it, we give it a go. If we like where it’s going, we arrange it. With holiday songs, it’s the same process, we find something we’re all really inspired by, pitch it to the group, try it, see if it works toward our strengths. A lot of songs are great but don’t work for us. Things that are melody-based [generally work]. Hip-hop is good for me, personally. I like recreating those beats.”